So like everyone else, January was a mad scramble to make it through without killing my accountant or tax man! Now we are into February, the sun is out and believe it or not the dog is sleeping in the midday sun. I now find myself with a client asking me to justify my costs? Do I have to? Do you? WTF!
Being a graphic designer is a not a 9-5 job. Just because we are not doodling away on your logo or coding pages of CSS for your amazing new website doesnt mean we are not working. My brain never stops and I know so many other graphic designers who are just the same. Walking the dog is as much an inspiration as looking through a book of fonts or scrolling through reels and reels of dire trite just to find one glimpse of superb content that inspires me to create something on a clients project. Inspiration is all around us and all consuming, especially if you are looking for it. It is never about copying what you see, it is a journey that starts with the inspiration but ends somewhere totally different. It is like someone unlocking that heavy door you have been running into again and again. The average person walks blindly passed the billboard that I stop to look at for probably way too long but my brain is taking in every single pixel or dpi.
I have watched my wife sit with her iPad on a streaming site, her iPhone on social media reels and the TV on with adverts blasting out. It is this noise that a graphic designer must contend with every day to make your content or brand stand out. “it will only take 5minutes to draw me something” may be true but the image to be drawn will take hours, days or weeks to distil into it’s purest form from it’s intial concept.
No job takes 5minutes, my kettle takes more than that! – yes I need a new kettle, thanks Boris.
I feel myself rambling so let me come back down a few bpm and explain the life of a graphic designer – or any creative. It is a world of wonder and we always want our clients to love what we do, as much as we love what we have done for them. I will suffer waking up at 3am when an idea feels it is right to come alive and I will happily walk around the local shopping centre on a Saturday afternoon with 1million people, admiring the Advertising posters just to keep me inspired and the creativity flowing.
This is not a 5minute job, it is a lifestyle.
So to finish up Mr Client, I am not going to justify my cost. I neither have too nor want too. I am lucky that there are plenty of amazing clients out there these days who understand creativity and enjoy the process. It is this part that everyone needs some education on. Value the process, don’t look for a shortcut as there aren’t any. Be part of the frustration, its rewarding when it is beaten and be constructive both as a client and a creative.